Look, we understand that in lots of cases the perfect strap for your watch will often be something thematically appropriate and that matches the style of the piece. However, sometimes you just want to make a statement. That’s why we’ve taken a very classic pilot’s watch, the Oris Big Crown Pointer Date 473, and paired it with some of the most wild, exotic and interesting watch straps from French Maison Jean Rousseau. It’s all about colour, texture and making a splash.
When we think of leather, marine leathers are probably not the first thing our minds go to. However, with an increasing focus on sustainable supply chains in the leather industry, marine leathers are becoming more popular. This salmon leather strap is produced from waste material produced by the food industry.
In mustard yellow it has a gorgeous gradient on each of the scales from a dark brown to yellow that makes the pattern stand out dramatically. I like the combination of the scale pattern and the blue dial of the 473, it gives the piece an unexpected aquatic vibe like your local aquarium.
Another exotic marine leather is sturgeon. This one is a more traditional pairing with the Oris Big Crown Pointer Date 473 because they’re similar colours. The main base of the strap is dark blue while the characteristic scutes (skin imperfections that are common in sturgeon) are a lighter shade of blue not dissimilar to dial. It’s a pretty robust, durable leather that gains flexibility over time. It’s certainly one of the most unusual leathers in Jean Rousseau’s repertoire and for exactly that reason will make your watch stand out from the crowd
Next up is the most famous type of exotic marine leather, shark. Sharks very famously have rough, almost sandpaper like skin and that translates to a highly textured leather with many ridges and bumps. Thankfully during the processing it loses its abrasive, sharp quality to become comfortable to wear.
Here it’s been coloured green although in Jean Rousseau’s regular collections they currently only list it in black. That’s because with their bespoke service you can create custom straps from the full range of Jean Rousseau materials and colours
Seaqual Denim, £190
Ok, ok, ok, this one isn’t technically an exotic strap in the same way we typically think of exotic leathers. It’s not even leather. However, it has a similar origins to the marine leather straps because it’s made from recycled plastic from the world’s oceans.
Compared with the leathers, it’s more tactile and utilitarian, designed to withstand the bumps and scrapes of life. Paired with the Oris, it highlights the fact that a pilot’s watch is a sub-genre of tool watch – which is to say, a watch designed for a specific purpose and more often than not designed for daily wear. It’s available in green or light brown